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Key Change: The Role of the Creative Industries in Climate Change Action
  • Tim Hollo

The role of the creative industries – arts and artists – in helping to drive the changes in laws and behaviours that are necessary to tackle climate change, while not superficially obvious, is a deep one. Arts and artists of all kinds, as cultural practitioners, have been closely entwined with social change and social control since time immemorial, in large part because they help shape our understanding of the world, framing ideas, prefiguring change, and opening hearts and minds to new ways of thinking. They have played a major role in campaigns for law reform on many issues, and climate change should be no exception.

Indeed, with climate change increasingly being seen as a deeply cultural issue, and its solutions as cultural ones to do with changing the way we understand our world and our place in it, the role of cultural practitioners in helping to address it should also increasingly be seen as central.

It is curious, then, how comparatively little artistic engagement with climate change has taken place, how little engagement with the arts the climate movement has attempted, and how little theoretical and critical analysis has been undertaken on the role of the creative arts in climate change action.

Through a literature review and a series of interviews with individuals working in relevant fields in Australia, this study examines and evaluates the role of the creative industries in climate change action and places it in a historical and theoretical context. It covers examples of the kind of artistic and activist collaborations that have been undertaken, the different roles in communication, campaigning for law reform, and deep culture change that arts and artists can play, and the risks and dangers inherent in the involvement of artists, both to climate change action and to the artist.

It concludes that, despite the risks, a deeper and more thoughtful engagement of and by the creative industries in climate action would not only be useful but is perhaps vital to the success of the endeavours.

  • Creative Industries,
  • Climate Change,
  • Copyright Law,
  • Music.
Publication Date
June 12, 2014
This research project on ‘the creative industries and climate change’ is undertaken as part of Associate Professor Matthew Rimmer’s ARC Future Fellowship on Intellectual Property and Climate Change. Dr Rimmer’s research stretches across issues from patent law to copyright to trademark law and beyond, examining how these legal disciplines and the industries they regulate contribute to or constrain action on climate change. It covers issues as diverse as technology transfer and access to technologies, greenwashing and culture jamming. This research project is intended to fill a gap by examining the role of the creative copyright industries – the arts – in contributing to climate change action, considering the interaction between law, politics, culture, society and art. By providing a theoretical and empirical analysis of copyright industries and climate change, this work hopes to make an important and relevant contribution to the broad study of the complex interplay between intellectual property and climate change.
Citation Information
Tim Hollo. "Key Change: The Role of the Creative Industries in Climate Change Action" (2014)
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